Free Agent Profile: Defensive End AJ Epenesa

02/21/2024
DB+

DE AJ Epenesa, 6’6″, 260 pounds, 34 1/2 Arm Length

Signature Stats: Pass Rush Productivity score of 8.6 tied for 27th among all DEs with 20% of pass rush snaps, and Sack Percentage ranked 12th of all DE (3.3%).

Contract Projection: 3 years, $22.5M, $7.5M AAV, $10M GTD

Cover 1 Take: Epenesa is a challenge to the “draft, develop & retain” strategy we’ve seen. His steady development has been good, but his sack production has outpaced what his total pressures would normally produce. A team may pay for high end production and price him out of BUF’s budget

 

Summary: Explosiveness is evident in his quick first step, complemented by swift directional changes that enhance his upfield burst. With precise snap timing, Epenesa threatens the outside hip of tackles. He wreaks havoc on passing lanes and dismantles wide receiver screens with his length. Employing moves like the Long Arm, Double-Handed Swipe, and Ghost Stab, he demonstrates versatility in his pass-rushing repertoire. Though occasionally exhibiting stiffness in movement, Epenesa consistently makes impact plays on both the quarterback and the ball. Additionally, his instincts shine through on simulated pressures, where he adeptly drops into underneath coverage to create impact plays. Areas of opportunity to increase his play strength would further aid in disengaging from blockers, as he occasionally struggles to wrap up elusive quarterbacks and running backs.

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